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This said, he disappears. Then hear my will;
Be bold, ye lovers, and exert your (kill;
Be they my sons, who sing the softest strains,
And tune to sweetest notes their pleasing pains:
But mark! whoe'er shall by too harm a lay
Offend our ears, and from our manners stray,
He, for our favour, and our throne unfit,
To some disgracesul pennance must submit.

He ends; the stiepherds at his words rejoice,
And praise their sov'reign with a gratesul voice.

IMITATIONS. * When the time that he designed to give her in marriage was near at hand, he published a decree, whereby Ire invited the neighbouring youths to make trial of this musical inilrament, with promife that the victor should possess his daughter, on condition that the vanquished should submit to what punishment he thought fit to inflict. Thofe, who were not yet discouraged, and had high conceits of their own worth, appeared on the appointed day, in a dreft and equipage suitable to their

respective

Each swain believes the lovely prize his own,
And sits triumphant on th' ideal throne;
Kind Vanity their want of art supplies,
And gives indulgent what the muse denies;
Gay vests, and flow'ry garlands each prepares,
And each the dress, that suits his fancy, wears. *

Now deeper blushes ting'd the glowing sky,
And ev'ning rais'd her silver lamp on high,
When in a bow'r, by Ladon's lucid stream,
Where not a star could dart his piercing beam,

IMITATIONS.

respective fancies. The place of meeting was a flowery meadow, through which a clear stream murmured in many irregular meanders. The shepherds made a spacious ring for the contending lovers; and in one part of it there fat upon a little throne of turf under an arch of eglantine and woodbines, the father of the maid, and at his right hand the damsel crowned with roses, and lilies. She wore a flying robe of a slight green. stuff"j she had her slieephook in one hand, and the fatal pipe

So thick the curling eglantines display'd,
With woodbines join'd, an aromatick shade,
The father of the blooming nymphs reclin'd,
His hoary locks with sacred laurel twin'd:
The royal damsels, seated by his side,
Shone like two flow'rs in summer's fairest pride:
The swains before them crouded in a ring,
Prepar'd tp blow the flute, or sweetly sing.

First in the midst a gracesul youth arose,
Born in those fields where crystal Mele flows:

IMITATIONS.

in the other. The first who approached her was a youth of a gracesul presence and a courtly air, but dresied in a richer habit than had ever been seen in Arcadia. He wore a crimson vest, cut, indeed, after the shepherd's fashion, but so enriched with embroidery, and sparkling with jewels, that the eyes of the spectators were diverted from considering the mode of the garment by the dazzling of the ornaments. His head was co» vered with a plume of feathers, and his sheephook glittered

with His air was courtly, his complexion fair;

And rich perfumes shed sweetness from his hair,

That o'er his seoulder wav'd in flowing curls,

With roses braided, and inwreath'd with pearls:

A wand of cedar for his crook he bore;

His slender foot th' Arcadian sandal wore,

Yet that so rich, it seem'd to sear the ground,

With beaming gems and silken ribands bound j

The plumage of an ostrich grae'd his head,

And with embroider'd flow'rs his mantle was o'erspread.

IMITATIONS.

with gold and enamel, &c. He applied the pipe to his lips, and began a tune, which he set off with so many graces and quavers, that the shepherds and shepherdesses, who had paired themselves in order to dance, could not follow it; as Indeed it required great skill and regularity of steps, which they had never been bred to. Menalcas ordered him to he stripped of his costly robes, and to be clad in a russet Weed, and to tend the flocks in the valleys for a year and a day.

He * He sung the darling of th' Idalian queen, Fall'n in his prime on fad Cythera's green; When weeping graces left the faded plains, And tun'd their strings to elegiack strains; While mourning loves the tender burden bore, "Adonis, fair Adonis, charms no more:"

The theme displeas'd the nymph, whose ruder ear

The tales of simple shepherds lov'd to hear.

The maids and youths, who saw the swain advance,

And take the fatal pipe, prepar'd to dance:

So wildly, so affectedly he play'd,

A tune so various and uncouth he made,

That not a dancer could in cadence move,

And not a nymph the quaver'd notes approve:

They broke their ranks, and join'd the circling train,

While bursts of laughter sounded o'er the plain.

Menalcas rais'd his hand, and bade retire

The silken courtier from th' Arcadian quire:

* .See Bio'n, Mofchus, Sec.

R Two

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